16. 10. 2015

Helping the refugees is helping people in need

The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and its Diaconia have been observing the situation concerning the refugees coming to Europe for a long time. Therefore, at the beginning of July 2015 the members of the Synodal Council passed a resolution in which they expressed their regret about the Czech politicians who are not able to stand up against the populists spreading panic and hatred towards the refugees. They pointed out it is primarily necessary to help someone who is in trouble instead of searching for ways to get rid of him.

Currently the ECCB is itself searching for possibilities to help the refugees, although so far, the Czech Republic doesn’t have to deal with the tens of thousands of refugees crossing its boarders with a vision of a better future.

The collection taken during the Hus Festival at the beginning of July in Prague was also designated to help the refugees from Syria. People gave more than one hundred thousand Czech Crones into the collection which was doubled by the partner organization HEKS. The money helped the refugees in the Lebanese refugee camp Shatila.

Several congregations organized collections of clothes and other needed things, and those were donated, for example, to the refugees at the train station Keleti in Budapest. Some congregations are also trying to find space where some immigrants could eventually live. 

One of the places where refugees could possibly find not only a roof over their heads but also work is the relaxing area Sola Gratia in Bystřice pod Hostýnem which is newly owned by the Diaconia of the ECCB. Although it has been closed for quite some time the intention is to open it again. The space will function as a place for a family retreat, camps, education courses or spiritual meetings. Approximately three families could be accommodated in the apartments for employees – those who obtain their asylum in the Czech Republic. They could take care of the local park, work on the garden or as chambermaids.

The Diaconia helps refugees systematically and on a long-term basis. Besides other activities the Center for Humanitarian and Development Aid (which is a part of the Diaconia) also organizes a collection for the work with refugees in Europe. In this way, they wish to express their solidarity not only with those fleeing from their homes, but also with countries which are the most affected by the present migration wave and no longer have the capacity to take care of these fleeing people.

The Center for Humanitarian and Development Aid has helped people in the refugee camps in Jordan since 2012, and also in Iraq since 2015.

Jana Vondrová